Legal Word Of The Day

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
esqprep
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:16 pm

Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby esqprep » Sat May 24, 2008 2:52 am

Here's an interesting question for you soon-2-be 1Ls... It may start to get the gears turning inside your head. It was a question that spurred a 4 hour discussion in my real property class and I've never forgotten it. You will likely have this conversation in your own real property class too:

"What does it mean to own something?"

Think carefully.

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Eriro
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:23 am

Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby Eriro » Tue May 27, 2008 11:13 am

ok, it's been two days. I'll bite.

my best (ok, first) guess is this: owning something means you have an exclusive claim to it (or at least a stronger claim than everyone else), either b/c you paid money for it, or someone who paid money for it gifted it to you and relinquished their rights.

lrdunc
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 2:40 pm

Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby lrdunc » Wed May 28, 2008 10:53 pm

esqprep wrote:Here's an interesting question for you soon-2-be 1Ls... It may start to get the gears turning inside your head. It was a question that spurred a 4 hour discussion in my real property class and I've never forgotten it. You will likely have this conversation in your own real property class too:

"What does it mean to own something?"

Think carefully.


Well, even as a 0L I have ideas as to what you're getting at. Generally speaking, "ownership" is thought of as the property in question being "one's own thing." Philosophy courses teach this principle (Hobbes, Locke, Hume, etc). This doesn't necessarily mean that the owner has to be an individual private citizen, of course, because corporations are technically considered juristic persons (Intro. to Business 101) and as such are endowed with many of the same Constitutional rights afforded to private citizens...

Am I on the right track here?

esqprep
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:16 pm

Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby esqprep » Thu May 29, 2008 5:47 pm

Eriro wrote: my best (ok, first) guess is this: owning something means you have an exclusive claim to it


#1, Don't guess. Think it through. Law is about language and meaning (which is why I asked that question).
- Have you ever owned anything (think of large items: cars, houses)? Must ownership be exclusive?

(or at least a stronger claim than everyone else),


Think about my first comment (above). Hypothetically: If you and I owned a car together and we each purchased 50% of it, would neither of us "own" the car since one of us could not have a stronger claim than the other?


either b/c you paid money for it, or someone who paid money for it gifted it to you and relinquished their rights.


Does ownership relate in any way to the method in which one came to own the property?
-----

Keep it coming.... Good work. Think it through. Start with a definition of the word "own". Look in a dictionary if you are not sure.

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Portal
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Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby Portal » Thu May 29, 2008 6:08 pm

I think that for one to claim ownership, he has to have an exclusive claim to the property he owns. If he owns 50% of a car, then he exclusively can claim 50% of the car.

esqprep
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:16 pm

Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby esqprep » Thu May 29, 2008 11:54 pm

Part of me regrets asking such an open question. I only did so since the question of ownership was one of my favorite discussions during my 1L year. The question of ownership and the discussion of property law in general is perhaps one of the most confusing that you will encounter during your tenure in law school.

The reason that property is so confusing is due, at least in part, to the following that: it was mostly developed during the medieval period and has not changed much since, and that much of property law is inextricably tied to Equity and "equitable maxims".

Therefore, you have my apologies. However, while I will not give the answer (frankly, that could be a good subject in itself - "why can't I give an 'answer' ?") I will give you this:

Ownership is a concept that may be defined by two attributes: power and time.

Some of you mentioned exclusivity and while that's good (it relates to both power and time) it isn't precise.

Keep thinking about it and I'll be here to discuss it with you and help you prepare for your 1L year.

In the mean time, if anybody is interested, I'll pose some easier questions based in easier subjects that will also help you get prepared for your first year. Just let me know.

JR - Advisor
http://www.esqprep.com

lrdunc
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 2:40 pm

Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby lrdunc » Fri May 30, 2008 11:15 am

esqprep wrote:
In the mean time, if anybody is interested, I'll pose some easier questions based in easier subjects that will also help you get prepared for your first year. Just let me know.



Thank you. I, for one, would enjoy learning about various other topics that you assume would cause the average 1L a decent amount of frustration.

jwmasonlaw
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:57 am

Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby jwmasonlaw » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:21 am

hmmm.... most definitions seems to rely on concepts which are themselves, somewhat vague. For instance, one definition focuses on the right to 'possession'. But what is possession? Like the saying about pornography, it's hard to define, but most of us 'know it when we see it.' We understand the concept, but find it hard to pin down. My initial thought was basically that ownership is the right to make decisions about some piece of property, be it land or chattel. I.E. it is essentially the right to sell it, rent it out, or keep it; to put it to use, or let it go to waste, etc. Ownership seems to be among a category of rights which could include concepts such as trusteeship or guardianship, with ownership having the most rights, but still not being completely unrestricted. The owner of a house or land may have deed restrictions. The owner of stock may be restricted from selling it during certain 'blackout periods' if he/she is an executive of the company for which the stock is to be sold.

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Cupidity
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Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby Cupidity » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:24 am

Wow, from the dead.

sjsteece
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Re: Legal Word Of The Day

Postby sjsteece » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:40 pm

I blame TLS's horrible search engine change. Maybe the only time google ever made something worse.




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